Coinbase is joining the liberal international order via a partnership with the World Economic Forum.
According to the WEF’s website, the cryptocurrency exchange is listed as a partner with the organization, alongside the Bank of China and BlackRock. Twitter sleuths in the cryptosphere first noticed the update, firing off comments about moving their crypto holdings from the centralized exchange into “cold storage,” AKA physical hard drives that carry an additional level of security for moving funds.
“Founded in June of 2012, Coinbase is a digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can transact with new digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin. Coinbase’s vision is to bring more innovation, efficiency, and equality of opportunity to the world by building an open financial system,” writes the World Economic Forum.
Coinbase is not the only crypto partner of the World Economic Forum. The organization likewise lists Ripple, which focuses on cross-border payments via its native XRP token, as a partner, even as the company contends with a lawsuit led by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
The World Economic Forum has taken both educational and critical tones to this emerging asset class. In a November white paper, an analyst writing on behalf of the organization argued that stablecoins do little to benefit financial inclusion.
“Early research indicates that users of cryptocurrency currently tends to be young, educated, male individuals who are already experienced in digital finance,” said the organization’s report. “Unless the ecosystem focuses deliberately on building inclusive models at scale, this trend may continue and stablecoins may risk increasing inequality in financial services and technology access, rather than addressing it.”
Update: The World Economic Forum has removed Coinbase from its partner list since this story was published on February 21, though via Wayback Machine the association can still be found. Paradox has reached out to both parties seeking clarity.